Landon Donovan is set for the next chapter in his career.
Having already stared in Major League Soccer and for the U.S. national team, made a comeback to playing after his first retirement to play in Liga MX and spent time playing for Major Arena Soccer League with the San Diego Sockers, Donovan is in line to take on a front office job.
Donovan has been announced as the Executive Vice President for Soccer Operations for a USL Championship franchise that has been awarded to San Diego.
Warren Smith, the co-founder and former president of Sacramento Republic FC, has been awarded the franchise, with Donovan signing on to help run things for the new club.
The club is set to start play in 2021 and has reached a deal to play its home matches at the University of San Diego's Torero Stadium.
“I chose San Diego as my home and have personally been focused on bringing professional soccer to the community,” Donovan in a league press release. “Thanks to Warren, USL and our incredible team, that dream has become reality.
"I am ecstatic to be a part of this talented group and the newest addition to the USL Championship. I’m looking forward to our Opening Night in Torero Stadium and the stands being filled with smiles, chants and cheers from my fellow residents of America’s Finest City.”
I couldn’t be more excited about this new challenge and the opportunity to bring professional soccer to America’s Finest City! Thank you to @TheWarrenSmith for your vision, guidance and passion. Let’s go San Diego!!!!! ⚽️⚽️⚽️ #USLSD #SoccerinSanDiego https://t.co/KxQbEKUzh1— Landon Donovan (@landondonovan) June 19, 2019
Donovan was a major voice in trying to bring MLS to San Diego, but those efforts fell apart last November when Measure E, the so-called SoccerCity initiative, was soundly beaten by a competing stadium project led by San Diego State University.
“We got beat up pretty quickly, pretty early on, and that was pretty hard to swallow," Donovan told Goal at the time. "It was a rough night, but in the end it was clear that it was more about politics and other factors than soccer, and unfortunately that’s what this town is known for, making things not happen, and we saw that up close.”
Now the city will play host to a second-tier team, with Donovan once again in the middle of the action.